What is Pilates?
Pilates is a physical fitness system developed by Joseph H Pilates at the turn of last century. Pilates originally named it Body Contrology because his method uses the mind to control the muscles. He believed that mental and physical health are inter-related. Pilates was initially created for rehabilitation, but was later adopted by dancers and athletes and is now used by millions from all walks of life.
The Pilates method of exercise involves a series of controlled movements that engage both the body and mind. It focuses on strengthening and conditioning all the muscle groups with focused breathing to employ the body’s core and posture. With systematic practice of specific exercises, Pilates has proven itself invaluable not only as a fitness regime, but also as an important adjunct to professional sports training, and ideal for injury prevention and rehabilitation. The outcome of Pilates training is an overall balanced body that is strong, flexible and toned.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
Pilates builds a strong core, increases strength and flexibility simultaneously, and improves posture, stability and alignment. It also emphasizes complete concentration on smooth, flowing movement, and proper breathing. You become acutely aware of how your body feels and work and how best to control it.
Practised faithfully, Pilates yields numerous benefits:-
- Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep, healthy breathing as primary focus
- Strengthened abdominal and back muscles.
- Increased flexibility
- Toned long lean muscles
- Improved posture and balance resulting in reduced stress on joints
- Increased body/mind awareness thus improve sports performance and quality of life
Who can do Pilates?
Men and women from all walks of life, backgrounds, fitness levels and ages can do Pilates. The exercises can be modified for various body types, comfort levels and physical conditions. Both an octogenarian who is recovering from a back injury or a professional tennis player can benefit from the Pilates repertoire that is individually customized.
Pilates For Sports
Developing an athlete’s core strength makes athletes more agile, improves balance, control and reflexes, helps prevent injury; all this to achieve peak sports performance. All the more essential for the athlete with a competitive edge!